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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Memo To Alice Martin: Get Lost!

Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, has been described by Scott Horton of Harper's magazine as perhaps the most corrupt and crooked public official in the country.

Now it appears that Horton did not go far enough in his critique of Martin. He should have added delusional to her list of attractive traits.

The Alabama blog Doc's Political Parlor reports that Martin has asked U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to help her get a one-year extension to serve under the Barack Obama administration.

You heard that right: One of the most notorious and corrupt members of the Bush Justice Department--and there is a lot of competition for that title--wants to stay on under Obama. Why? So she can lead the prosecution of Birmingham mayor Larry Langford on corruption charges.

A few facts seem to have escaped Alice Martin in her state of delusion:

* U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and typically hand in their resignations when administrations change. As John McCain once famously said, "Elections have consequences." And Alice, one of the consequences of the November election is that you are about to be out of a job.

* Jeff Sessions is a Republican who, based on the word of Lanny Young (one of the government's star witnesses in the Don Siegelman case), has some serious ethical baggage of his own. What makes Martin think Sessions would have any pull with an Obama administration? Is she really that stupid/desperate?

* If Obama's attorney general-designate Eric Holder has the kind of spine we hear he has, Martin is more likely to be a target of the new Justice Department rather than a part of it. She already is being investigated by multiple governmental agencies--under the Bush administration. Those investigations are likely to be coverups, but Holder has a history of fighting corruption. He might want his department to scrutinize Ms. Martin's activities.

I would be glad to show Holder & Co. how she handled my complaints to her office about corruption among Republican judges in Alabama. We already know that Holder has a history of going after corrupt judges in Pennsylvania. I think he and his lieutenants would find the actions of Alabama judges in my case--along with Martin's efforts to protect them--to be most interesting.

If they were to look into Martin's possible role in my unlawful termination at UAB . . . well, there is no telling what Holder & Co. might find on that trail.

That brings us to another point raised by Doc's Political Parlor. It reports that Martin is interested in the seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals vacated by Greg Shaw, who won a spot on the Alabama Supreme Court.

My understanding is that Governor Bob Riley will appoint someone to fill Shaw's seat. There is no doubt that he and Martin are political buddies, and Riley has shown an inclination to take care of his buddies, no matter the circumstances. Martin and Riley even have shared a campaign manager--Montgomery-based "consultant" Dax Swatek, who has a history of sleazy activity and has become a major character in our Legal Schnauzer story.

But you have to wonder if even Bob Riley will shy away from appointing Alice Martin and the sizable baggage she brings with her. Not only is Martin already under investigation for unethical conduct, a Congressional inquiry into political prosecutions and other Bush-era activities could head in her direction.

Congressional attention also could focus on Riley and his ties to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Riley might not want to draw attention to himself by appointing someone who is likely to become a political "hot potato."

How would it look to have a judge on Alabama's Court of Criminal Appeals wind up being indicted on criminal charges herself? And to know that Bob Riley put her there?

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